Wine Background: Pinot gris originated in Burgundy, like the other members of the Pinot family, and has had a long history all over Europe. In recent times, versions from Alsace and northern Italy have been the best known. Oregon winegrowers introduced Pinot gris to New World viticulture and in 45 years the variety has become the principal white wine of Oregon. Adelsheim Vineyard was one of the very first producers of this variety outside of Europe. With this wine, our 29th vintage, our experience shows – we’ve long been acknowledged as producing a reference standard for the “Oregon style”
Growing Season: The 2012 growing season got off to a slightly slower than average start, with bud break occurring on April 23rd, about a week later than normal for the Willamette Valley. Weather during bloom (the third week of June) was close to ideal, with minimal rainfall towards the end of flowering. Reduced berry set led to smaller clusters and lower yields than the prior vintage. A warmer and drier than average growing season resulted in extremely low disease pressure and provided ample sunshine for the grapes to develop beautifully complex flavor pro files. Veraison occurred around the end of August and the Willamette Valley experienced excellent ripening conditions until harvest. Picking began on the 3rd of October. Perfect weather conditions lasted through harvest, which ended on the 25th of October. The remarkable growing season of 2012 resulted in clean fruit with intense colors and concentrated flavors.
Winemaking: The grape picking decision is based on flavor and phenolic development, supplemented with lab results. We gently press the whole clusters to limit the extraction of skin and seed tannin into the juice. We then choose a variety of cultured yeasts to bring forth different aspects in the range of flavor possibilities. A slow, cool fermentation helps retain the primary fruit esters. For enhanced textural richness, about 15% was fermented - but not aged - in older, neutral French oak barrels. The wine did not go through malolactic fermentation. This Pinot gris was bottled between April 22 to May 2, 2013.